The Unmanned Army

April 21, 2003 | Source: New York Times

“The unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) is the first tangible evidence of [a] robotic future….If the UCAV program succeeds, it could lead us to a distant point on the horizon where no Americans in uniform will ever again fight on the battlefield — automated submarines launching cruise missiles, divisions of unmanned ground vehicles racing toward enemy capitals. Autonomous helicopters will charge ahead of the columns, flying 15 feet off the ground at full throttle, picking off targets and ejecting microdrones capable of close-quarter fighting. Some of these will be designed to hover within buildings, sweeping from room to room like armed dragonflies. Others will climb trees and walls, like predatory orangutans. Everything they see and do will be displayed and controlled from plasma screens at headquarters….”